Removing Privacy from Mainchain and ZEN
The Horizen community recently approved ZenIP 42204 for the deprecation of the Horizen mainchain shielded pools – the removal of shielded transactions with transparent inputs from the Horizen mainchain, which will prevent shielded transaction (T addresses to Z addresses) support at the consensus level.
What Does This Mean for the Horizen Ecosystem and ZEN?
After the deprecation of mainchain shielded pools, all privacy features will be removed from Horizen main blockchain at the consensus level. This also means ZEN will no longer be a privacy coin after this change.
The purpose of the deprecation is to ensure Horizen does privacy technology the right and sustainable way to drive ecosystem growth and minimize risks. It proposes a solution to eliminate technical debt and avoid regulatory threats that can prevent the greater Horizen community from fully and freely participating in our ecosystem.
Mitigate Regulatory Threats
The current regulatory environment presents challenges for the accessibility and adoption of privacy cryptocurrencies.
Supporting privacy features on the mainchain level is not the only way to offer privacy capability for the Horizen ecosystem. Horizen’s mission is to ensure data integrity and privacy freedom by enabling real-world use cases. Horizen’s privacy vision relies on a secure and decentralized mainchain that supports Horizen’s sidechain platform to focus on more scalable and resilient data privacy. The purpose of the deprecation of the mainchain shielded pools is to de-risk the Horizen vision.
Eliminate technical debt
Horizen’s implementation of shielded transactions relies on ZCash’s outdated Sprout technology. Moving away from outdated technology will give Horizen room to improve and innovate privacy technologies.
In a recent episode of Beyond the Horizen podcast, co-founder of the Horizen blockchain, Rob Viglione and Head of Strategy of Horizen Labs, Inc., Jordan Calinoff, shared their thoughts on this matter and how this change can help and grow the Horizen ecosystem and making Horizen more resilient and competitive.
When Will the Deprecation Happen?
The deprecation of the Horizen mainchain shielded pools will be implemented as part of the upcoming mandatory software upgrade of ZEN 4.1. The target release windows are as follows:
Testnet – August 2023
Mainnet – September 2023
- Does this mean Horizen will no longer support privacy?
No. Supporting privacy features on the mainchain level is not the only way to offer privacy capability for the Horizen ecosystem. Horizen’s privacy vision relies on a secure and decentralized mainchain that supports Horizen’s sidechain platform to focus on more scalable and resilient data privacy. We are only removing support for shielded transactions with transparent inputs (T addresses -> Z addresses) on the Horizen mainchain level. This change also focuses on removing the shielded pools by preventing new transparent inputs being sent to it.
- What will be the status of $ZEN following these updates?
$ZEN will no longer be considered a privacy coin after the deprecation of the mainchain shielded pools. We are actively working with our exchange partners to keep $ZEN accessible for our global users.
We highly encourage you to read the full ZenIP 42204 on GitHub to get a complete understanding of what this means. If you have any questions about this matter, please join the discussion on the #zenip channel on our Discord server.
More about ZenIP 42204:
- The ZenIP 42204 Proposal on Github
- Community Survey Results Are In For ZenIP 42204: Deprecation Of The Horizen Mainchain Shielded Pools
- Beyond the Horizen Podcast: Discussing ZenIP 42204 – Removal of Shielded Pools
- Co-founder Rob Viglione’s Thoughts on ZenIP 42204
- The Soul of a Crypto Project
- Co-founder Rolf Versluis’ thoughts on the ZenIP 42204